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If a movie stars Frank Sinatra, Groucho Marx and Jane Russell, one thing you can be sure of is that it's not a deadly serious drama. Despite the bizarre cast, Double Dynamite (1951) remains an under-rated comedy. Sinatra and Russell play Johnny and Mildred, two bank employees who desperately want to get married but can't afford it. Groucho is their pal (he's a waiter!) who jokingly suggests they should rob a bank for the money. One day their financial troubles seem over when Johnny secretly wins a wad of money in a contest. The only problem is that the bank discovers a significant shortage that just happens to match Johnny and Mildred's new wealth and they suspect that an actual theft did occur.
Based on a story by Leo Rosten, Double Dynamite was originally titled It's Only Money and was actually filmed in 1948, only to be held up for three years. Sinatra sings two songs, one with Groucho ("It's Only Money") and one with Russell ("Kisses and Tears," which he also recorded solo in 1949).
As an RKO film, Howard Hughes presided over production and he moved Sinatra down to third billing after Russell and Groucho, supposedly because he didn't much like Sinatra. Sports fans will want to look for a small appearance by boxer Lou Nova, whose defeat of Max Baer caused Baer to retire into showbiz (Baer's son would play Jethro on The Beverly Hillbillies).
Director: Irving Cummings
Producer: Irving Cummings Jr.
Screenplay: Harry Crane, Mannie Manheim, Melville Shavelson, story by Leo Rosten
Cinematography: Robert De Grasse
Editor: Harry Marker
Art Direction: Albert S. D'Agostino, Feild M. Gray
Music: Sammy Cahn, Leigh Harline, Jule Styne
Cast: Jane Russell ('Mibs' Goodhug), Groucho Marx (Emile J. Keck), Frank Sinatra (Johnny Dalton), Don McGuire (Bob Pulsifer Jr.), Howard Freeman (R.B. Pulsifer Sr.).
BW-81m. Closed Captioning.
by Lang Thompson